Monday, April 19, 2010

J ust E mpty E very P ocket part 1

I had planned to make daily posts of where I was at with my Jeep, but then got frustrated about my lack of progress and didn't end up posting anything. But there has been some progress made, so here is the catch up post. First of all, I have to comment that 4L makes getting the vehicle up on ramps very, very easy. With a 2wd vehicle, I'm constantly worried about giving it too much throttle as I'm trying to go up the ramps. I just put the jeep in 4L and up the ramps it throttle required.

From 1996 Jeep Cherokee

Nice pink "drop cloth" isn't it. I really need to get the garage cleaned out so I can move the show out of the dirt and pollen. In fact that has been set as my goal. Lift kit can be purchased once garage has been cleaned...I now have motivation.

So, first thing on the list was fix leaking transfer case seal. So I dropped the driveshaft and then realized, that my transfer case didn't look like I expected it to. Apparently '96 models got the newer style transfer case that '97+ models have and thus there is this housing that is pressed on the shaft. Well, after hitting it a few times with a screwdriver/hammer, I decided it wasn't going to easily come off and quit for the night. I thought I would google the "proper" way to get it off, but didn't find anything. So the next day I went after it with the screwdriver again. Bent the lip enough to get a good angle with the screwdriver and a few taps later it was off. Unfortunatly it was also unusable and I still need a replacement now. But it's fine without it currently...just would make me feel better before going offroad.
Anyway, after remove a washer and lock ring(which I actually bought a tool for that made it really easy), a little more time with my screwdriver and hammer released the seal from it's location and a quick visual inspection after slipping the new seal from it's box revealed that I didn't have the correct part.

So looks like time to head to the parts store. Unfortunately, they couldn't locate the right part number at all. Even drug up a giant binder from under the counter, but they didn't have any part listed for any Cherokee model that looked like this seal. So my work for this night was over.
I went to the dealership the next day and they had two possibles listed, one in stock...and it was thankfully the correct one. Unfortunately it was also $35 as opposed to $10 like the other. But it was what I needed. After working in the yard until dark, I drug out the trouble light and got the seal put in. Replaced the driveshaft and was finally able to have a feeling of accomplishment. I could now mark one item off my list. Well, by this point the weekend rolled around and it was a perfect Saturday for fluid long as you don't mind copious amounts of pollen in your fluid. The wind was blowing an you could actually see the pollen flowing through the air...again need to clean the garage. The transmission service when fairly uneventfully. I drained the pan using the drain plug(first transmission I've had that ever had a drain plug), then added 4qts or so new fluid and started the Jeep up and let it circulate the new fluid a bit, then drained that mixed fluid again and dropped the pan to change the filter also. Had a little mishap, dropping a bolt into the oil catcher pan, but retrieval went well. Put it back together and added some fluid. Went to crank it to let it warm up to check the fluid level and...CLICK.

What? A battery issue? Well apparently, something was wrong with it. It would act okay until you put some draw on it and then nothing. Dug an old battery out of the boat and put it on and it cranked slow, but worked. So I assumed bad battery. Well, I was wrong. Went to Wal-Mart and they tested it as good. I bought a new battery anyway figuring their equipment must be screwed up and headed back home. Hooked the old battery up first and my Dad(who was there doing some welding for me) watched as I tried to crank it and saw a spark jumping from the + cable. Turns out it was a bad connection. Put on a new swanky chrome plated terminal I had bought I some point for a car amp install and it's been working fine since then.

Okay, time to back up a few hours now. The first part of the day was spent not on the battery, but on the oil filter mount. I had purchased an o-ring kit earlier in the week and set to work installing it. I knew it was going to be a pain getting to mount off, but didn't quite realize how bad it was really going to be. First off was the needed tools. I knew I would need a 60T torx bit and had already purchased one. I also knew it wouldn't actually fit on a ratchet in the space provided so I quickly went to cutting with my dremel. Now I had a bit that just happened to fit in a 12mm wrench. I have seen others make a tool and welding the bit in the wrench, but without a welder(Dad wasn't there yet) I improvised. I simply folded over a paper towel and wedged the bit in the box end of the wrench with paper towel. Had to redo it a couple time, but it worked. Only problem now is I needed leverage to break it loose. I didn't have anything to use as a cheater pipe that was large enough to fit over the end of the wrench, so I cut end off and used my jack handle. Worked like a charm...well it at least worked. Then it was just moving the wrench a 1/4 turn at a time to get it loose. All in all took about 2 hours to get off. A bit of mistake I made was that I had figured all of the work was going to take place from the top side of the vehicle, so I took it off the ramps...unfortunately this was not the case and I needed to get to it from underneath. Couldn't get it back on the ramp though, because the engine was sans oil. So I got to work in a tight spot...finally got it off though...

If you look at the second pic above you can see the main leakage point. The flattened o-ring just wasn't doing much anymore...

The rest of the job went pretty smoothly, just took some time to get the mount back on. Filled it up with oil and could mark another couple things off the list.

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